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Bloggingheads
02-04-2008, 08:58 PM

StillmanThomas
02-04-2008, 10:05 PM
Ugh! I feel like I've been teleported back to 1970, where I can listen to a feminist parse every single syllable to see if we're all being fair to some poor downtrodden woman. Puhleeeze!

When Paula Jones sued Bill Clinton for workplace sexual harassment, Bill wanted to settle. It was Hillary who insisted on fighting it out, because she couldn't stand what his infidelity said about her and her relationship. And thus was born the "trailer trash" defense we all grew to know and love. My point? Hillary has a history that is little short of disgusting. She's getting every bit of the "fairness" she's earned.

Bill and Hillary together have done more to destroy the credibility of feminism than anyone else in their generation. Bill single-handedly got the leading feminists of our day to go down on their knees for him, abandoning any pretense they had left to the moral high ground. It will take another generation for any clear-thinking person to take feminism seriously. Get over it, girls. You did this to yourselves when you embraced that horn dog, Bill.

semiarchly
02-04-2008, 10:27 PM
Props to David Corn for calling attention to Hillary Clinton's commodity trading. She turned $1,000 into $100,000 (a 9,900% return!) in a year with a few dozen trades. She was shorting cattle futures during a bubble in cattle futures (going against the tide). She was so massively leveraged that she could have lost a million dollars!

This is clearly impossible. No investor in the history of everything has done this well. And then she never traded again. Somebody, probably the Tyson chicken people, where laundering a big bribe through her. Given all the bogus campaigns against the Clintons it's funny that she's gotten a free pass on the one easy to report scandal.

Christopher M
02-04-2008, 11:00 PM
David Corn is a smart guy and usually interesting, but his views sometimes seem to lack nuance, or he'll miss an important angle of a story or a fact. Jim Pinkerton doesn't tend to call him on it -- Pinkerton's too far away ideologically to be able to provide the small-scale corrections that Corn sometimes needs. So it was great to have Rachel Sklar, who could and did do just that. Her analysis was very careful, and though I didn't always agree, she was always making intelligent and well-thought-through arguments. I don't usually read the HuffPost, but I'll certainly check out more of her writing after hearing this.

bjkeefe
02-04-2008, 11:18 PM
Bokonon:

Ugh! I feel like I've been teleported back to 1970, where I can listen to a feminist parse every single syllable to see if we're all being fair to some poor downtrodden woman. Puhleeeze!

I agree with you a little bit, but I don't agree with you completely. Some of the examples Rachel offered seemed a bit of a stretch, or required hypersensitivity to perceive. But I am a guy, so it's possible that I'm oblivious to some of what happens. Some of Rachel's examples were at least plausible, and I strongly agree with her larger point about it being far easier to get away with saying something sexist than something racist in our current society.

That said, it works the other way, too. Hillary Clinton's laugh, at least as used in debates and press conferences, sets my teeth on edge. At best, it comes off as a stalling tactic. More to the point, it usually sounds completely unnatural to me. But I'm almost not allowed to say that, even if I add that I feel the same way about Romney's and Giuliani's laughs, too.

I am of two minds about the press treatment of Clinton versus Obama. I can see why someone would say that the media treats Obama a bit more gently. On the other hand, the wingnuts are already Swiftboating him with the Muslim nonsense, Paul Krugman has been relentless in attacking him on health care and Social Security, and everyone in the world feels completely fine with trotting out the "experience" thing and mocking his message of hope. Also, Clinton does have a lot more iffy things in her past, and there really is something disturbing about the dynasty and co-presidents aspects, so it seems reasonable to me that she gets more critical attention. As far as I can tell, there just aren't that many skeletons in Obama's closet. Finally, there can be no argument that the Clintons play the political game a lot dirtier than Obama does.

Anyway, I was really happy to see Rachel make an appearance. I've been reading "Eat The Press (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/media/the-news/eat-the-press/)" for a long time now, and she does great work. The only complaint I had with this diavlog was that she and David spent too much time on the sexism issue -- I would have liked to hear her media critic's take on a wider range of topics. I'm not saying that sexism, or the perception of it, is trivial. It's just that I didn't think it needed to be talked about for the length that it was.

So, please come back, Rachel.

Wonderment
02-04-2008, 11:47 PM
At the risk of plagiarizing Toni Morrison, Obama may be the first female president.

The election is more about male power than about the literal gender of the candidates.

Hillary represents the old patriarchal machine -- white, male, centrist, inherited-through-male-dynastic-presidency, and plutocratic (the family has cleaned up on his presidency).

Obama, on the other hand, is unconnected, outside the patriarchal networks, relatively poor and rooted in the sectors of society where women are most marginalized. The Obama machine is less machista and more militaristic than the Clinton machine.

***

Having said that, it's true that there are plenty of gender stereotypes that work against Hillary, and it's good that people like Sklar are calling our attention to them.

If this were an election where the candidates differed significantly on women's rights, I would feel differently, but it's not. Obama and Clinton have equivalent views on women's rights. If anything, Obama is better on women's issues.

razib
02-05-2008, 12:13 AM
she says words that end in "out" funny.

though her reading-between-the-lines was a bit much, but she made some points that needed to be made. racism is much more verboten vis-a-vis sexism. but white women have arguably benefited from affirmative action to a far greater extent then black men. these sorts of comparisons are complex and require some nuance. all views should be aired....

Baltimoron
02-05-2008, 12:47 AM
At the risk of plagiarizing Toni Morrison, Obama may be the first female president.

The election is more about male power than about the literal gender of the candidates.

Hillary represents the old patriarchal machine -- white, male, centrist, inherited-through-male-dynastic-presidency, and plutocratic (the family has cleaned up on his presidency).

Obama, on the other hand, is unconnected, outside the patriarchal networks, relatively poor and rooted in the sectors of society where women are most marginalized. The Obama machine is less machista and more militaristic than the Clinton machine.

Good pass at Sklar's observation. Unfortunately, it would take a master's thesis to analyze this phenomenon. There it begins, and there it should be ended.

age
02-05-2008, 12:50 AM
DC: So, until next time then
RS: i guess we'll have to look at the comments and see how we do
DC: oh, don't you worry about those pesky little commenters

wasn't buying that n.h. felt it was just too soon to eliminate
hrc. either

Baltimoron
02-05-2008, 12:53 AM
She's getting every bit of the "fairness" she's earned.

This claim, like the subsequent sexism vs racism one (which is probably worthier of analysis), could go either way. It's probably more useful to say that various media organizations coming from different perspectives try to keep the election spicier and more interesting to max out ad returns from viewers. Rather than just looking at the statements, it would be (impossible) more useful to scrutinize the editorial decisions that resulted in the coverage any particular night. It comes down just to what the staffs think their loyal viewers will find compelling, not some preconceived notion of sexism or racism.

Ottorino
02-05-2008, 01:02 AM
I was a little mystified as to how Rachel saw fit to universalize her idiosyncratic interpretation of Obama's "You're likable enough" remark. I, and I suspect most people, heard that as an innocuous, off-the-cuff attempt by Obama to civilly and semi-humorously come to Clinton's defense while expressing a mild disdain for the question, as if to say, "I acknowledge there's all this fanfare about likability; now let's get back to substance."

But I agree with some of the other commenters about the nitpicky and overly analytical media coverage of this campaign, as evinced in this conversation. Here's an excellent article (yes it's in the Weekly Standard but it's basically nonpartisan) on how insane, from a human(e) point of view, the election process has become: (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/649xhmla.asp?pg=1)

And don't call me sexist for saying so, but Rachel is quite a looker!

Baltimoron
02-05-2008, 01:03 AM
Overall, both commenters did well to support their claims with actual events. However, as these horse race diavlogs make me cringe, descending into talking about Clinton's "likability" added a new nausea to the genre.

Can we get back to issues, like President Bush's budget deficits or health care, and leave the sociology back in college! There is a war going on, and I'm nostalgic for the days when MoveOn could act irresponsibly with childish word puns!

Baltimoron
02-05-2008, 01:08 AM
Unfortunately, no link! It's only the most substantive point in the whole diavlog.

Here it is:

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=4218509

Wonderment
02-05-2008, 01:14 AM
Illuminating. I'm a David Corn fan. Not one of his better moments.

I think he meant that both "nappy-headed and ho" were racist terms. It's indisputable that Imus is a sexist pig, and that he routinely got away with sexist discourse, but he probably would have said "sluts" or "bitches," "chicks" or "gals" if they were white. "Ho" is generally reserved for black women in the sexist vernacular.

Wonderment
02-05-2008, 01:22 AM
When Hillary makes her "vetted" claim she is asserting her immunity from scandal -- not because she doesn't have skeletons in the closet, but because the closet door has been open with the light on for a decade or more. Ken Starr has already been there.

The smart money would be on the dirt she's sweeping in there right now -- the current funny business.

Bob M
02-05-2008, 02:13 AM
I have been appalled by the coverage of Senator Clinton's campaign by Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd, and others, and I do think that through the media echo-chamber (blogs, SNL, the Daily Show, etc.) their influence extends much further than their viewers/readership would suggest. I am surprised that a media critic like Corn would suggest that what they say does not matter.

Though I plan to vote for Senator Clinton in the Super Tuesday primary, I have considered voting for Obama simply because I am very concerned that the media bias against Senator Clinton will be so strong that she will be at a severe disadvantage against a media darling like McCain.

Like Chris M (no relation I assume!), I find Corn to be a smart and likeable guy, but I sometimes wonder if he listens very well to the people to whom he is speaking as he sometimes seems to miss the distinctions that they are trying to make. Though Rachel Sklar did not need to convince me that much of the coverage of Clinton's campaign has been sexist, I think she made the case reasonably well. I am curious to read her blog some time.

semiarchly
02-05-2008, 05:13 AM
Sklar is obviously intelligent and knowledgeable, but spent most of the time quibbling and cavilling. The format works better with ideas being developed from a constructive back and forth. Just throwing out a series of complaints for Corn to respond to was boring.

bjkeefe
02-05-2008, 07:17 AM
Baltimoron:

However, as these horse race diavlogs make me cringe, descending into talking about Clinton's "likability" added a new nausea to the genre.

Like it or not, it's a real and important consideration that voters keep in mind when making their choices. I'm not sure that a question in a debate like "Sen. Clinton, what do you do about your likability problems?" has much merit, but I do think the topic is legitimate in a discussion about the candidates.

Baltimoron
02-05-2008, 08:32 AM
Like it or not, it's a real and important consideration that voters keep in mind when making their choices.

There are two ways of selecting a president--either character or issues. I'm an issues sort of guy. I assume all pols are ambitious and superficial, so I just ignore the likability factor.

For instance, I was watching a PBS special on Alexander Hamilton (I know it's been awhile, but I download). Some 'head called George Washington the best pol of his day, but short on ideas. Hamilton was his idea man. I've never considered this before, but I'm not insulted about calling Washington short on ideas. He might be the prototypical American pol, though. So, I'm looking for the people Clinton and Obama select as their idea guys.

Baltimoron
02-05-2008, 08:38 AM
It takes a tough gal to stand up to Corn, but I think Sklar could step up. I liked that time when Corn quipped about necrophilia and she just brushed him aside, with "an awkward pause". I think it's good for Corn to be paired with a less jocular, "Canadian".

Dare I say it, but could your comment just be a manifestation of how differently men and women view debate? Perhaps, Sklar needs more cooperation. I don't know her work well to answer.

bjkeefe
02-05-2008, 11:35 AM
Baltimoron:

There are two ways of selecting a president--either character or issues. I'm an issues sort of guy. I assume all pols are ambitious and superficial, so I just ignore the likability factor.

My point exactly. People use different criteria for selecting.

So, I'm looking for the people Clinton and Obama select as their idea guys.

That's an excellent criterion. It's a pity more people don't consider this, although I'd like to think that part of the reason Rudy tanked is that the punditocracy abhorred his foreign policy advisors, and was therefore more motivated to be against him and to try to sway regular voters, as well.

Abdicate
02-05-2008, 12:55 PM
Pinkerton is 6'9" (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1031996/bio)

graz
02-05-2008, 03:30 PM
Sklar is obviously intelligent and knowledgeable, but spent most of the time quibbling and cavilling. The format works better with ideas being developed from a constructive back and forth. Just throwing out a series of complaints for Corn to respond to was boring.

Exactly... Whatever intelligence and knowledge Ms. Sklar may possess, it is not well served by offering only impressions and feelings. Her acknowledgment of ignorance a(boot) Hillary prior to Sklars' coming of age politically in the USA is a reflection of her value as a commentator. David's point about the relative worth of their respective careers is well taken. As far as their written word is concerned, I make my judgments based on the insight and intelligibility that they provide. The assessment vis a vis bhtv is less rooted in command of the historical record and journalistic bona fides and more easily swayed by persuasive delivery and alignment with my own prejudice. Duh! But, what all did we learn from this segment? Not much.
Was it entertaining? A little.

Surcam
02-05-2008, 03:57 PM
I had no idea he was such a giant. Wow...

graz
02-05-2008, 05:45 PM
Rampant sexism (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8505?in=00:18:15&out=00:18:50) rears its ugly head.

Male pundit expresses surprise.

Illuminating. I'm a David Corn fan. Not one of his better moments.

I fail to see how this snippet illuminates any mistake on David's part. He seems to be referring to his own sense of missing any distinction intended by Imus, not some denial of the obvious distinction that Rachel is correctly suggesting. I rise to his defense only in the hope of correcting the record. But, maybe it is a matter of interpretation... or spin.

seyoyo
02-08-2008, 06:29 AM
Rachel Sklar is so annoying.

bjkeefe
02-08-2008, 06:45 AM
seyoyo:

For the record, I completely disagree. I hope she comes back. I find her smart and witty.

What is it about her that annoys you?

Mensch
02-09-2008, 02:48 PM
Right on, Bokonon. I give Rachel somewhat of a pass as she was in Canada during the Clinton years and maybe missed all of this, but clearly doesn't get it.

TwinSwords
02-09-2008, 03:21 PM
Bill and Hillary together have done more to destroy the credibility of feminism than anyone else in their generation. Bill single-handedly got the leading feminists of our day to go down on their knees for him, abandoning any pretense they had left to the moral high ground. It will take another generation for any clear-thinking person to take feminism seriously. Get over it, girls. You did this to yourselves when you embraced that horn dog, Bill.

Oh brother, this is just ridiculous. Feminism was thoroughly discredited and damaged by decades of sustain conservative attacks by the likes of Pig Man Rush Limbaugh, among others. One can scarcely find a young woman today who embraces a doctrine of equality for women (feminism), and it's not because of Bill Clinton (or even more ridiculously, Hillary). How do we know? Because women ran from the feminist label before Clinton took office.

Your entire analysis is contaminated by anti-Clinton animus.

David_PA
02-09-2008, 04:36 PM
Bring Rachel back. She's refreshing, insightful, smart, and playful.